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The Influence of a Corporate Incubator Environment on the Creative Culture of its Start-ups: An Exploratory Case Study
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Organization and management.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Corporate incubators represent an attempt of established companies to explore and evaluate innovations in an unconstrained environment through affiliated start-ups. For any start-up, entrepreneurial creativity might be a crucial factor for its success. However, entrepreneurial creativity requires a supportive organizational culture. Despite the importance of organizational culture and creativity for start-ups, there is a lack of research regarding this social dimension within corporate incubators. Therefore, the objective of this study is to provide insight on how the corporate incubator context does influence the incubated start-ups’ development of an organizational culture of creativity.

The study focused on two start-ups and the incubator management team, their relationship, and the organizational culture of the start-ups. The empirical data have been collected during a four month case study in a recently established corporate incubator of a German technology group. Primary data sources included 14 semi-structured interviews with start-ups and the incubator management team, field observations and documentation reviews.

The findings regarding the influence of the organizational framework in a corporate incubator indicate support for an organizational culture that values flexibility and discretion. A social environment like this provides beneficial preconditions to emphasize entrepreneurial creativity. However, the two analyzed start-ups vary considerably regarding their supportive climate for creativity. This indicates that besides the provision of a corporate incubator framework, other measures ensuring a creative culture are necessary. To maintain entrepreneurial autonomy an incubator management team does not directly intervene in the start-ups. However, an indirect influence on the start-ups’ emerging organizational culture is advisable. Great potential resides within cultural imprinting during the founding time of the start-ups when entering the corporate incubator. This social dimension of corporate incubators is not reflected in previous literature and represents a promising path for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 74 p.
Keyword [en]
R&D Management, Corporate Incubators, Organizational Culture, Creativity, Start-ups, Imprinting
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-189308OAI: diva2:945377
Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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